Happy hour was a pandemic casualty for most local bars and restaurants, but many have brought it back this summer. A typical happy hour always involves discounted drinks, but most of the time, it’s just your run of the mill domestic beer or well liquor mixed with soda. While those discounts are always appreciated, there are a few places in Charleston that put in the extra effort to make happy hour a destination instead of a happy accident.
The City Paper got the scoop on four go-to Charleston happy hours, and we also included a list of some other local favorites.
Did we miss your favorite Charleston happy hour? Email parker@charlestoncitypaper and we’ll add it to the list.
Community Table offers happy hour Tuesday-Friday from 5-6 p.m., when you’ll find $5 drinks, including wine, craft beer and cocktails. Since inside seating is limited, many people enjoy happy hour out on the porch that’s equipped with fans.
“The crowd is a mix of young professionals and residents of I’On. A lot of people from downtown come in as well, which is great,” said marketing director Annie Kosch.
Tuesdays are hard to beat at Community Table with its live music, specialty cocktails and $10 burgers, in addition to regular happy hour specials.
“People love our burger. We have caramelized onions and onion rings on top. It’s one of those fully loaded burgers,” Kosch said. Other happy hour food specials include $1 “Buck-A-Shuck” East Coast oysters and $1 honey sriracha wings.
“The specialty cocktail on Tuesdays changes month-to-month or week-to-week depending on which local distilleries can give samples or items we want to be creative with. Right now we have Homesteader vodka, which is local,” Kosch said. “We are making a ‘What’s my Name Again.’ It’s a wine spritzer with vodka, fresh lemon, and it’s really refreshing. It’s $5 all night.”
Another popular $5 happy hour cocktail is the John Daly, made with Firefly vodka, fresh squeezed lemonade and homemade iced tea.
Check out Avondale’s Caroline’s Aloha Bar Monday-Friday happy hour (4 p.m.-7 p.m.) for a boozy slushie, neighborhood vibes and friendly bartenders.
“We have one boozy slushie that remains constant and that’s our ‘Randy Savage’ because it’s matcha man!” said general manager Andrew Truman. “It’s a coconut milk base with green tea matcha powder and a double shot of premium rum, but we do all of our frozen drinks virgin in the machines so people can choose their alcohol.”
“We also have $4 house liquor drinks and the shots are really popular. The $4 shots we have are oriented toward industry people,” Truman added. “We are definitely a neighborhood bar these days. All the faces that we see are the faces we see again and again and again, and they’ve been with us throughout this very hard year.”
Downtown Indian fusion restaurant Coterie offers a $7 “Pocket Friendly” happy hour Monday-Saturday.
“‘Pocket Friendly’ is an Indian term that they use instead of cheap. Since we have an Indian influence, that’s where that comes from,” said owner Jeremy Buck.
The happy hour features $7 classic cocktails, $7 wine and $7 select small bites.
“The Slow Gin Fizz, which is a little lesser known than the classic, has been ordered a ton. The Gimlet that we make with a house-made lime cordial is the other most popular drink,” Buck said. “Our wine list is also very interesting. It has a lot of off-the-beaten-path things. Indian food isn’t always the easiest to pair with, but our list pairs well with it.”
When the cocktails and wine have you wanting a snack, check out Coterie’s paneer skewers and appam, or rice and lentil pancakes.
Happy hour is currently limited to bar seating at this time, but with 14 seats at the outdoor bar plus three high top tables, there’s plenty of space to enjoy.
Rebel Taqueria offers happy hour daily from 4-6 p.m. when patrons can enjoy $5 margaritas and $1 off draft beers. And, Rebel goes above and beyond by offering different food specials every day that last all night.
“We wanted to make sure there was something going on every day,” said co-owner Lewis Kesaris. “This is a small space, and we really wanted to focus on the food. We don’t really have space for music or a bunch of TVs, so we aren’t a sports bar. We wanted to focus on tacos, tequila and cold beer.”
For a true taste of Rebel Taqueria, check out the deep fried beef taco, just $3 on Tuesdays. And if you’re ready to bring an appetite, stop by on Sunday.
“Another big night for us is Sunday nights where you can get all you can eat tacos for $12.95,” Kesaris said. “People have made it into a competition. Even if you only want five tacos, it’s still a great deal.”
More Charleston happy hours:
- Bistronomy by Nico’s happy hour runs Monday-Friday from 4-6 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday from 12-3 p.m. Look for $5 glasses of house wine, $4 house liquor, a $5 daily cocktail and $3.50 house beer.
- Stella’s offers discounted wine, cocktails and select small plates Monday-Friday from 4-6 p.m.
- Barsa offers $3 house wine and house liquor and $1 off beers from 4-7 p.m. Monday-Friday.
- Kiki & Rye’s happy hour runs Tuesday-Friday from 5-6 p.m., when they offer $5 wine and beer, $5 glasses of housemade sangria, discounted sliders, $6 peel-and-eat shrimp and more.
- Patois offers happy hour Tuesday-Friday from 4-6:30 p.m., when patrons can order discounted wine, Freehouse beer, chicken skins ($5) and shrimp cocktail ($1.50 per piece).
- Pink Cactus offers a “Tequila & Taco” happy hour six days a week, when you’ll find $5 margaritas, $3 Tecate and more from 3-6 p.m.
- Rarebit’s happy hour runs Tuesday-Friday from 4-7 p.m., offering $7 Moscow mules, greyhounds and seasonal punch as well as $5 house red, white and cava and $4 draft beers
- O-Ku offers happy hour on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 5-7 p.m. with half-off sushi rolls, half-off select bottles of sake and $3 off specialty cocktails
Find more food and drink specials happening around town by checking out our events calendar.
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